This is a quick look at the festive catering on Virgin Trains East Coast. Prior to Christmas Eve there were some festive changes to the menus but the offering would still be of the style expected for the particular train (e.g. the Evening Meal menu on certain departures from Kings Cross).
On Christmas Eve they offered a cut down version of the menu, a more limited breakfast option (but still had hot choices such as porridge and bacon rolls) and then the rest of the day was the hot options from the all day menu. The usual first class complimentary drinks offering (including alcohol) was offered.
The Christmas Eve offering was very good particularly considering that you could upgrade on this day for weekend first prices.
During official bank holidays the offering was the standard weekend offering. In other words sandwiches for most of the day and in the morning a disappointing continental breakfast. No complimentary alcohol is offered on weekends and bank holidays.
The non-holiday days between Christmas and New Year were odd. In the morning you had a limited breakfast menu but had hot items included but the rest of the day you had the weekend sandwiches but with the addition of complimentary alcohol.
As mentioned earlier today the most unusal change was classing Monday 4 January as a weekend. This means that there was only croissants for breakfast and sandwiches with no alcohol for the rest of the day. As this was most people's first working day in 2016 I can imagine the disapppintment when people were expecting a full English breakfast and were left hungry. Those returning on the evening expecting a substantial meal would also be left disappointed. The reason for this was because it's a bank holiday in Scotland. In previous years East Coast also did the same. I'm hoping that in future years Virgin Trains East Coast will review the decision.
I do believe the weekend catering offering is the most disappointing aspect of the East Coast catering offering from when East Coast made catering complimentary in 2011. Prior to 2011 when you had to pay for everything except hot drinks, water and biscuits you could order anything from the Foodbar and it would be delivered to your seat, some trains, even on a weekend, had a chef on-board so you could order from the First Class At Seat menu. Now if you want anything that's not on the weekend menu you need to go to the Foodbar, it won't be served at seat.
I would like to see Virgin Trains East Coast improve their complimentary offering on a weekend but if they believe this is not viable it would be good if they restored the ability to order food and drinks at seat from the Foodbar menu.